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Rick Scott leads Alex Sink by 6 points in new governor's race poll

TALLAHASSEE — Thanks to a barrage of advertising and an edge among independent voters, Republican Rick Scott has taken a 6-point lead over Democrat Alex Sink in the governor's race, according to a poll released Friday.

The survey by Quinnipiac University shows former health care executive Scott garnering 49 percent of likely Florida voters while Chief Financial Officer Sink gets 43 percent. Only 7 percent of voters are undecided.

The poll shows the two candidates are equally well-liked and attract similar numbers of voters from their respective parties. Among independents, Scott holds a 46 percent to 40 percent edge.

"If there's a difference, the difference is this is a bad year to be a Democrat," said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac's polling institute. "She's got an additional hurdle. The hurdle appears to be her association with President (Barack) Obama."

Only 40 percent of voters approve of Obama's job performance while 56 percent disapprove.

The poll surveyed 1,151 voters from Sept. 23-28 with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points. Quinnipiac screened voters based on how closely they are following the election and if they plan to vote.

A normal off-year election would feature a slightly older and whiter electorate, though Brown said this is "not a normal year" and that more Republicans are eager to vote.

The poll showed that 54 percent of voters think Scott's TV ads are "annoying," while 40 percent find them informative. Compared with Sink's campaign strategy, more voters think Scott's advertising has been "excessive."

"One's political views are probably not related to their tolerance for political advertising," Brown said. "You cannot like something, but it can still have an effect on you."

Both candidates' favorability numbers are relatively stable. For Sink, 39 percent have a favorable opinion of her and the same number have an unfavorable opinion. Scott has a similar 41 percent to 40 percent split.

The survey also shows that 64 percent of voters are either dissatisfied or angry with state government, though more people are angry with the federal government. Only about a third of voters are satisfied with how state government works.

Although Republicans have controlled state government for 12 years, the poll shows they are just as dissatisfied as Democrats.

Lee Logan can be reached at llogan@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

Rick Scott leads Alex Sink by 6 points in new governor's race poll 10/01/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 1, 2010 11:08am]
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